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Students test their coding skills in new AI game 

Scott Logic launches new artificial intelligence game at Durham University Hack event

Posted by Hannah Oakman | May 12, 2016 | Technology

Bespoke software development consultancy Scott Logic has successfully launched a newly-created game at its latest undergraduate Hackathon.

The artificial intelligence (AI) challenge, which was built from scratch by some of the firm’s software developers, was unveiled at yesterday’s Durham University Hack event, which was organised in partnership with student volunteers from Compsoc, the institution’s computing society, for the first time.

The experience-driven afternoon involved an intense period of collaborative coding, in which competitors battled it out in teams of up to six for some sought-after prizes, before chatting with Scott Logic’s developers over refreshments.

These Hack events, which are held at universities across the country, have been part of Scott Logic’s recruitment strategy since 2013. They give students the chance to find out more about the company and ask questions of its staff in an informal setting, while having fun at the same time. Several members of the Scott Logic team were introduced to the company and its graduate programme through one of these Hack events.

The game, which took Scott Logic’s developers a few weeks to create, requires users make bots that allow them to control a number of on-screen players or figures. These players then battle with opponent players to destroy one another, as well as collecting items during play that allow them to reproduce, banking more players for their team so they can slowly take control of the game.

The day, won by a team called #DUmakeithappen, was such a success that there are already plans to refine the game for future Hacks, with Scott Logic now looking into adapting it for a potential 24 hour event.

Alistair Madden, Compsoc President said: “The event Scott Logic put on for us was brilliant. Along with the friendly and helpful volunteer developers, we managed to create an AI, albeit a not very intelligent intelligence, and put it to work on the game.

The pizza and beer went down well - safe to say nobody left the event hungry or thirsty - and it was also great to be able to chat to the staff developers and find out about some of the work going on at Scott Logic – Alistair Madden, Compsoc President 

“The pizza and beer went down well - safe to say nobody left the event hungry or thirsty - and it was also great to be able to chat to the staff developers and find out about some of the work going on at Scott Logic.”

Scott Logic Recruitment Officer Michael Gilboy added: “We know how daunting it can be to approach a prospective employer at a careers fair, where it can be difficult to get a real understanding of the culture of a company. Our Hacks are a great antidote to that and we’re very pleased the students enjoyed being the first to be let loose on this newly created Hack. 

“Judging from the feedback we’ve received from those who attended, the game was a huge hit. We had a fantastic turnout of students, and some great conversations about careers at Scott Logic and our paid internship and graduate opportunities. We will now look to refine this Hack and make it even better ready for our next event in Edinburgh in October.”

To find out more about vacancies at Scott Logic, visit scottlogic.com/careers/vacancies. For a less formal chat, email applications@scottlogic.com, or for more information on Scott Logic and its services, visit scottlogic.com

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